Your phone is dead. Or you’re driving. Or you’re in a meeting.
Your girlfriend/boyfriend/lover-person is trying to call you. You didn’t pick up, so now they’re assuming you’re either a) ignoring them or b) dead.
Your phone knows better — hell, with all of the sensors and data crammed in that thing, it probably knows exactly what you’re up to. Wouldn’t it be nice if your phone could lend a hand here?
Meet Status, an iOS/Android app built to do just that.
Status is sort of like the AIM away messages of yesteryear — but automatic. Or like an automated version of Twitter, back when Twitter was more about telling people what you were up to than it was about yelling at each other and making jokes about popular things.
Status uses a big ol’ array of data to figure out what you’re up to, and automatically shares that information with a finely-honed list of friends.
At home, or work, or one of your favorite regular haunts? Status will pick that up by way of geofencing (and the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to) and automatically set your status to “At [wherever].” If you’re somewhere you haven’t taught the app to recognize, it’ll just say “Out and about.”
Driving? Status can be set to look for your car’s Bluetooth connection. Once it finds it (that is, once your car is on), it figures you’re driving and sets your status accordingly.
In a meeting? Give Status access to your calendar, and it’ll automatically give people a heads up whenever they might be calling during a scheduled event.
Battery about to die? Status knows.
This isn’t the sort of information you want broadcasted to the world, of course — that’s why Status focuses on carefully curated friends lists. It’s not a Twitter-style follow model; you approve each and every friend to make sure you’re only sharing your status with the right people. And even among friends, you can go “incognito” whenever you want.
While the app is cross-platform across iOS/Android, each platform has its own strengths. The iOS build is a bit better at detecting when you’re driving/biking/etc, thanks to iOS 8’s core motion API.
Android, meanwhile, can do things like integrate status updates into the dialer — so if a friend with Status tries to call when your phone is about to die, that little factoid will pop up right within the phone app itself.
Oh! And while it’s not a very heavily played-up feature, Status also makes for a pretty decent cross-platform alternative to Find My Friends. Tapping on someone’s status brings up a map, at which point you can ping them for a location update.
If you’re familiar with Agent, the logic at play here might seem a bit familiar. Agent uses your smartphone’s data to do things like extend battery life and remember where you parked; Status uses that data to help your social life.
And hey, wouldn’t you know it: Status and Agent are actually built by the very same people. While Agent will be sticking around in the Google Play store, it sounds like Status is more of the focus now.
I’ve been using Status for about a week now. Since the app hadn’t actually launched yet, I mainly used it with the app’s developers — but I still loved it. It’s well polished, the interface is clean and accessible, and it does exactly what it promises.